Sunday, October 26, 2014

Aquaman #35 Review

Written by: Jeff Parker
Art by: Paul Pelletier
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 26, 2014

Stay Salty

October has seen a bunch of books using the month off from the September Futures End Event to start new arcs and setup a good jumping on point for new readers.  Aquaman is a prime example of this.  While this issue continues the general story of Jeff Parker's run and does tie up some loose ends, it also has the added bonus of being new reader friendly.  It is more setup than usual, but that's going to happen in issues like this and Parker does enough to keep long time readers entertained as well.  At the end of the day, I enjoyed it even though Arthur makes some pretty crazy decisions.  I guess he can do what he wants though, he is the King...or is he?

The issue opens with a really clever recap of who Arthur is.  It's brief, sets up the story while also foreshadowing this issue's cliffhanger.  No sooner is it over than we are off to Amnesty Bay where Dr. Shin is being harassed by an agent from Triton Base.  I guess you're supposed to feel sorry for the guy, but after all he's done, I am still a bit torn.  Did he really think he could just walk away from Triton Base so easy-peasy?  I'm sure we haven't heard the last from the Triton Base Gang and that does not upset me at all.  As for now, the "meeting is cut short by Officer Watson, Salty (yes!) and one of the most epic entrances Aquaman has ever given.  Next thing you know, Dr. Shin is on his way to Atlantis.

On the way, we learn the gist of the story.  Atlantis has been rejecting Arthur in the form of earthquakes.  It seems a little hokey at first, but it really nails home the whole Surface versus Atlantis conflict that has gone on since the New 52 began.  It also ties together the Karaqan story with Dr. Shin and Daniel Evans in a way that makes it seems real and very important.  The point is reinforced when they get to Atlantis and experience another earthquake.  Go figure.

The other part of the story involves the Under-Realmers that opposed Arthur's rule and attempted to assassinate Mera.  Instead of just executing these xenophoobic jerks, Arthur comes up with another plan.  I hated it.  Maybe it's because I really didn't like them from the get go, but Arthur leaves on open door for them to return while probably pissing off most of Atlantis in the process.

Speaking of pissing off Atlantis, it's no shock that the earthquake problem is due to Arthur's lineage.  The surprises are the declaration that Atlantis is more than we thought (I'm not sure if anyone else thought of Mogo when this happened, but I did) and that Arthur's Mother didn't go to what seems like Atlantean Heaven.  Arthur confirms this and sets up a pretty grand adventure in the immediate future.

For the most part, I really liked this issue.  Because of the conflict between Atlantis and the Surface, Arthur's reign has been tenuous at best.  Now that ATLANTIS is against him, it really ups the ante.  Also, I have loved when we get bits on Arthur's past (the best being the class reunion) so I am excited to learn more about his Mother.  However, I hated the resolution (for now) of the Under-Realmers story.  It seemed like a throw away until Parker has time to get back to them and I don't want to get back to them.

Paul Pelletier does a decent job on art this month.  This is not the best issue he's done and in fact is a little disappointing after the last few.  The page with the Atlantean "Air Force One" was awesome, but the rest of the issue was pretty average.

Bits and Pieces:

Aquaman #35 ties up some loose ends while setting up the book for some exciting adventure.  It's no surprise that Atlantis has had a problem with King Aquaman, but this issue makes it personal in a way I didn't see coming.  I liked that, but not everything in this book had me smiling.  How Arthur deals with traitors is head scratching and the art was hit-or-miss throughout.  Even with those problems, I can still recommend this issue for what it sets up.


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